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Should We Judge Nigella?

It’s fair to say that the Christmas holiday probably wasn’t the most enjoyable of times for television chef Nigella Lawson. Since the publication of several photos involving herself and her ex-husband Charles Saatchi, where he appeared to be strangling her, Nigella has come under fire for her involvement in a fraud trial, her alleged drug use and even for not cooking her own Christmas dinner (she was happy to provide a photo on Instagram proving to her critics that she did cook her own turkey!). But is all this criticism fair, or should we be giving Nigella a break?


Nigella Lawson; public opinion has often been divided on her. Some adore her Yummy Mummy style of cooking, while others think she is over sexualised, making her money off of her appearance rather than her cooking skills. The latest revelations in the press (her drug use in particular), have caused some to denounce her further – the daughter of a titled peer, she must be spoilt and used to having just what she wants. But from where I’m sitting, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes, Nigella Lawson is an attractive woman but this doesn’t stop her from also being a fantastic chef. While her good looks may be why some tune in to her T.V shows, from the start of her career writing for The Sunday Times, Nigella has always been a legitimate businesswoman. Again, although she is called spoilt and snooty, Nigella Lawson chooses not to use the honorary title that is bestowed to her and has found success through her own merits rather than simply living off her father. Despite all her recent difficulties, Nigella continues to prove she is a strong, hardworking woman with the arrival of new show ‘The Taste‘, a culinary talent competition in which she is both a producer and judge. 

It is a sad truth that amidst the storm of media criticism, lies the forgotten reality of Nigella’s staggering success. After having lost her first husband, John Diamond, to throat cancer, she struggled with depression while continuing to raise her two children and film her television series, Nigella Bites. Despite her tragic loss, she managed to build a career in a famously male industry becoming a leading female figure in the food world, starring in various cookery programmes, selling 3 million copies of her cookbooks worldwide and owning a cookware range currently valued at around £7 million. Surely Nigella is to be admired for her business acumen and the culinary empire she has built. Yet, the press has chosen to turn against her, picking up on mere accusations of wrongdoing and treating them as fact. The only clear picture we have is unfortunately very literal; Nigella Lawson was in an unhappy marriage. Looking once more at that infamous picture that has been all over the news these past few months, I find it shocking that the press have so savagely attacked a woman who by all appearances is in a potentially abusive relationship. Rather than slate her, raking through her personal life for fault and error, it is my opinion that this woman should be given a break!

Image credits: www.mydailynews.com, www.dailymail.co.uk, www.huffingtonpost.com, www.mirror.co.uk

Alex is currently a Second year English student and is the 2013/14 Deputy Editor for Current Affairs at Her Campus Exeter. Being very passionate about English and in particular journalism, HerCampus is likely to take over Alex's life. But when she isn't writing, blogging or helping the HerCampus Exeter team in whatever way she can, Alex enjoys playing guitar and singing; hopefully well! She is also interested in musical theatre and can often be found humming show tunes absentmindedly. Alex hopes HerCampus will be one of her first steps in a career towards journalism.
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